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10 Things Parents Should Know About The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The new Peter Jackson version of a J.R.R. Tolkien Middle Earth story, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hit the theaters and burst through box office record this weekend. But if you didn’t get a chance to take the family and see it yet, and are still torn, what with all the chatter about high frame-rates and two movies expanded into three, we have a few things you might want to know when making up your mind to venture out, or wait for DVD.

I saw Lord of the Rings, so what’s this one about?
Based on Tolkien’s first, more kid-focused book set in Middle Earth, the trilogy of movies are about a younger Bilbo Baggins (Sherlock’s Martin Freeman playing a younger version of the character Sir Ian Holm portrayed in LOTR) setting out on an adventure with Gandalf and 13 dwarves to re-take their ancient kingdom from the dragon who stole it. Along the way, many things happen that will turn the homebody Bilbo into a wiser, more worldly hobbit, not the least of which is finding a certain magic ring.

Will I like it?
If you liked LOTR, you’ll like this. If you loved LOTR, you’ll love this. But be prepared for a bit more silliness than LOTR. The Hobbit was a story for children, and Jackson and Company play for a lot more laughs than they did in LOTR.
Jason Wetzel's profile photoMike Mostransky's profile photoAndre Immanuel Quintos's profile photoSEPAND yadollahi far's profile photo
Yes, the meeting of dwarfs at Bilbo's house was great! (and silly)
Planning to take the 10 and 7 year old, not sure about the 4.5 yr old yet.  Any thoughts?  Violence scale?
+Mike Mostransky Did you read any of the books?

M 2eurocents: I don't think any of Tolkiens stories is for people younger than at least 10. Movie or not your kid needs to be aware that the story is just that: A story, the plot itself has quite some brutal edges...
I saw it Thursday night in 48fps 3D and I can say it was beautiful. Absolutely worth it. The 3D was smooth and had real natural depth with incredible detail. That isn't available everywhere though and we had to drive 2 hours to a screen that offered it. (check ) We will be taking the kids to the regular 3D local theater this weekend. 

It is rated PG-13 for violence mostly. There is sword fighting, stabbing, slashing, and a few be-headings. It's not as bad as Fellowship though. There isn't any gore and I didn't notice any blood. I thought the Goblin King was a little sillier than I wanted and the whole goblin cave scene was much brighter than I expected. Thorin, Gandalf, Bilbo, and even Radagast were enjoyable. As were the Trolls and the dwarves. It isn't as epic as Fellowship, there is no huge emotional scene in the middle with the Balrog for example and it's overall brighter and more colorful (sunsets, waterfalls, etc.)

The best scene by far is Riddles in the Dark with Gollum and Bilbo. Don't miss that for any kind of break. (The movie runs through the end of the Eagles scene. So Gollum is about the 3/4 mark.)

As I said, I plan to take my oldest kids. My 8 year old read the book by herself and so if we deemed it not too scary can go. My almost 6yo also wants to go and I have read the first half of the book to her. My oldest said, "I don't get scared by Doctor Who (9th and 10th Doctor so far) so is it as scary as that?" Really, no. It is on par. Probably less scary and suspenseful a little more violent. There isn't a lot of killing, but lots of sword fights and knocking goblins around. So there is your benchmark. Do they enjoy Doctor Who? Than the Hobbit should be ok. 
+Martin Marcher yes read all the books when I was younger, just not sure about taking all the kids to see it but there are few worthy holiday movies out this yr.
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